Efforts to prevent drug or alcohol abuse disturbingly aim attention at our youth. However, drug or alcohol abuse does not discriminate by age and affects every age group in the United States. 

There is a major misconception that older adults do not face addiction problems, but this is simply not true. The need for rehab for seniors continues to grow. LA Detox is here to offer to help any and all age groups that battle with addiction.

rehab for seniors

Today in the United States seniors are abusing drugs, alcohol, and prescription medication. They are dying from overdose deaths at higher rates than ever before. A lot of the reason the U.S. sees such a drastic increase in substance abuse is largely due to the aging baby boomer generation. 

Baby boomers are individuals who were born between 1946 and 1964. Generally speaking, it would appear that our baby boomers have not changed their opinions on alcohol and drugs much since their youth. 

Prescription Drugs Can Cause Addiction

Also adding to the increase in substance abuse or addiction rates is the fact that doctors prescribe an alarming amount of prescription medications to “fix” an array of health concerns. Doctors prescribe prescription medication for anything ranging from aching joints to trouble sleeping. 

These combinations are increasingly dangerous and even deadly. In addition to overmedicating our seniors, our society is becoming less and less connected. This is despite all of the amazing technological advances we have made in more recent years.

Loneliness and depression are some of the most common reasons identified for substance abuse in every age group. However, it is at an alarmingly higher rate within our senior communities. 

Identifying Substance Abuse Or Addiction In Seniors

We know that substance abuse or addiction does not discriminate; however, there are more common substances that tend to be abused by seniors. 

The most common substances abused by seniors include but are not limited to:

  • Opioids: Pain medication is highly addictive. Addiction often begins after the individual has been prescribed a painkiller for a period of more than a week. This is when physical dependence is created. The most commonly abused opioids include the brand names Oxycodone, Percocet, Fentanyl, and Hydromorphone.
  • Alcohol: Alcohol is one of the most commonly abused substances by seniors. Social drinking can turn into alcoholism quickly with seniors, especially because seniors are more isolated than ever. This leaves them lonely and leads to heavy or prolonged drinking. 
  • Benzodiazepines: Anti-anxiety medication is commonly prescribed in seniors. It helps calm nerves and can assist with sleep problems; however, they are highly addictive. The most commonly prescribed include the brand names Xanax, Klonopin, Valium, and Ativan.

Identifying substance abuse or addiction typically has obvious signs. These signs include DUI’s or other arrests, new or undesirable friends or associations. When trying to identify the need for addiction treatment in seniors, it can be a bit more tricky. 

Signs of regular aging often mimic the side effects of substance abuse or addiction. This makes it increasingly more difficult to determine if you or a loved one may have a problem that could require rehab. 

Some signs of substance abuse or addiction in seniors include but are not limited to:

  • Changes in Mood
  • Losing Prescriptions 
  • Nodding Off 
  • Excessive Sleeping 
  • Confusion or Memory Loss 
  • Multiple Doctors – For Same RX
  • Reclusive Behavior
  • Lying
  • Alcohol on Breath
  • Cluttered/Messy House 
  • Poor Hygiene or Appearance 

If you or a loved one are displaying any of the above-mentioned symptoms, feel free to contact LA Detox. A member of our professional and compassionate staff will gladly assist you with an assessment. 

Medical Detox Rehab For Seniors

Detoxification (detox) is the first process in the journey towards recovery. Medical detox for seniors is a rehab program designed to safely manage the physical symptoms of withdrawal associated with quitting drugs or alcohol. 

Our medical detox center provides a monitored rehab and recovery process. Medical detox rehab programs are for seniors who have become physically dependent on drugs or alcohol and require a detoxification process. This process is to safely and comfortably allow the body to rid itself of the harmful toxins. 

The length of the medical detox process and the types of medication used will be determined after an assessment. Doctors need to determine what kind, and how many substances are abused. They also need to understand the length of time of the abuse or addiction. 

What are the Most Common Medical Detox Drugs For Seniors?

The most common medical detox drugs administered during senior rehab include but are not limited to:

  • Opioid Abuse or Addiction: Methadone, Suboxone, Buprenorphine, Clonidine and Lofexidine
  • Alcohol Abuse or Alcoholism: Benzodiazepines, Barbiturates, Antabuse, Vivitrol, Revia and Campral
  • Benzodiazepine Abuse or Addiction: Clonazepam and Clonidine

Medical detox for seniors is designed to assist the individual in completing the first step of rehab and by administering prescription medications with medical supervision, and it decreases the chances of relapse. Once the medical detox is completed, the individual has the option to continue with residential or outpatient treatment. 

Once addiction treatment is completed, an aftercare program is recommended.

Residential Addiction Treatment: Rehab For Seniors

Residential (Inpatient) treatment for seniors is a rehab program that requires a 24/7 stay at one of our treatment centers. These types of programs were designed so that individuals with addiction can attain medical and mental health care and round the clock care to give a better chance of success on their recovery journey.

During the stay at our residential addiction treatment program for seniors, the individual will be monitored by trained medical specialists. They make it their primary goal that the individual will remain healthy over the course of their addiction treatment. This also can include a dietician who will assist with providing our seniors with the best nutrition possible.

Some of the things that can be expected during rehab in a residential addiction treatment program for seniors may include but are not limited to:

  • Individual assessment in order to determine the individuals physical and overall mental health
  • A comprehensive analysis to determine the individual’s needs. This will include medical health, social skills, and even education
  • An addiction treatment plan that prioritizes the above 
  • Assessment and ongoing therapeutic care administered by a psychiatric professional
  • Family/Friend involvement in the rehab and recovery process. If face-to-face contact is not achievable, then the program is designed to provide telephone or video chat with the senior’s support system

The length of time required for our residential addiction treatment program for seniors is a 30, 60, or 90-day rehab program. However, each individual has unique circumstances and obstacles, so our programs are uniquely designed for them. 

Outpatient Addiction Treatment Rehab Programs For Seniors

There are two (2) different types of outpatient addiction treatment rehab programs for seniors. One program is designed for a more intensive rehab program, and the other has fewer time requirements whilst still offering quality outpatient rehab care. 

The two (2) outpatient addiction treatment rehab programs for seniors are:

  1. Intensive Outpatient Program (IOP) – This type of outpatient treatment program will require the senior to enter after the detox or assessment. During this rehab program, the senior will partake in multiple meetings and therapies at our rehab center and then return home in the evening. It is designed around the rehab center’s hours of operation. 
  2. Partial Hospitalization Program – This type of outpatient treatment program is less intensive than a residential or IOP program. However, the partial hospitalization program is more intense than the typical outpatient program. This rehab program is designed on the same principles as the IOP, except the time requirements are less per day. 

Medication Management During Addiction Rehab Treatment For Seniors

Medication-Assisted Treatment (MAT) is an original approach to addiction rehab treatment that is an addition to traditional addiction rehab treatment. MAT helps to regulate substance abuse or addiction in a more comprehensive manner, by offering ongoing prescription medication treatments alongside the standard level of care. This means also completing an addiction rehab treatment program designed for seniors. 

Since substance abuse is often associated with a mental disorder we also offer a medication-assisted treatment program. This is designed to not only treat substance abuse but also deal with mental health issues that may be present.

Aftercare Rehab Program For Seniors

Once an individual has successfully completed their addiction rehab treatment program here at LA Detox, the journey to lasting sobriety is just beginning hence the need for a solid aftercare treatment plan. 

Rehab for seniors allows them to recover in a safe and healthy environment. However, once they are back in their daily routines and no longer attending continuous treatment therapies, a lot of people will fall back into their old ways. This often occurs because a strong treatment plan has not been put into place. That is the very reason that the addiction community agrees that an aftercare rehab program is essential.

Our aftercare program for seniors provides the individual with continued professional guidance and support once they physically leave our treatment center. Through a variety of options, our professional medical staff will continue to assist the individual in their journey as they transition back into daily life at home. 

Reach Out To Us Today!

Are you or someone you know ready to make the call and take life back from substance abuse or addiction? If so, our medical professionals at Los Angeles Detox located in beautiful Los Angeles, California, are here to help. 

We know that substance abuse or drug addiction is different for every individual and especially seniors. By tailoring our rehab and detox treatment programs to the needs of our seniors, we can provide the strategies and proper resources that are required to get and stay sober. 

Anyone can overcome their dependency issues with substance abuse or addiction and get their life back! Visit us online today. It is time to take the first step towards lasting rehab and recovery.

References:

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3202507/